SAT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student by James P. Stobaugh ~ Review

Sat: College Preparation Course For The Christian Student
My Review: Designed for the Christian Homeschool student this course is strives to prepare young minds for the SAT test. As I have not taken the SAT yet myself, I a ton of questions, that were answered with this book. Also there are a ton of study and day-of-the-test-ideas, that I found helpful, and informative.
I should tell you though, that this book is not just a book, it's a full course, designed to help prepare one for the test. There are 150 exercises that take about less then ten minutes a day, that review basic Algebra, Geometry, Vocabulary, and Problem Solving Skills. There is an essay practice section that shows examples of the tops scored essays, so you have an idea of what is expected. Also all through the book there were these little side notes, that gave everything from tips on how to take notes properly, and how to take certain parts of the test, to how you should schedule the day of your SAT. There is also a daily devotional, and suggested Bible reading plan! There is just so much in this helpful book that I fear I am not doing it justice! I learned so much about the test and how to take it from this course, though only time will tell if it pays off :D

Not to mention the fact that the appendix is amazing! There are lists of recommended reading, meant to challenge the mind and grow the volcabulary of the student naturally. This course can be started as early as 9th grade.

So far I have enjoyed this course and I find it challenging, yet not overwhelming because of the short lessons. I haven't taken the SAT yet, but as a person who hasn't yet taken the SAT, but is taking this course, I highly recommend this book.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
1/1I received


The River Queen by Gilbert Morris ~ Review

The River Queen

My Review: Another great book from one of the most successful Christian authors of the last years.

Julienne Ashby is a rich socialite in the 1850's, with every thing she could ever wish for at her fingertips. But as a consequence of Julienne and her family's extravagant ways, they soon find themselves nearly broke with only a run down riverboat in their possession. Julienne is determined to make it a profitable enterprise, along with the help of her aunt and Dallas Bronte, river pilot with a troubled past. Will they be able to conquer the seemingly insurmountable challenges that threaten to pull them under?

A bit slow to start, but well worth it at the end, with memorable, well drawn characters, The River Queen is a book that shows how people can change dramatically in the face of hardship, and in God's love.

My favorite character was Carly who was tons of fun, and always brightening a scene even when things seemed bleak. She had a strong, simple faith and I looked forward to scenes that included her in them.

I also enjoyed reading the character development of so many of the characters, probably most dramatically, Dallas and Julienne. Julienne started out pampered and spoiled, and during the course of the book her faith in God grew tremendously. Dallas was a flawed hero, which is probably what I appreciated about him, he wasn't perfect, yet even though at first he didn't know Christ he was a man that the world would have deemed good enough. Dallas' knowledge was broad and on so many subjects and his sense of honor was most admirable.

Overall, I would recommend this to Gilbert Morris fans and other who would enjoy an entertaining story, with faith and adventure. It's not the heaviest of stories, and I know this book won't appeal to everyone, but I enjoyed it :)

Final Rating: 4 out of 5

I got this book from the public library in my area, just in case you were wondering :)


Lip Smackin' Cheese Ball Recipe

Hello there! Since the holidays are here I thought I'd share a recipe with ya'll. It's simple, yet tasty, and my brother is addicted to it :)

So without further goings on, here is the recipe :)

8 oz. package of cream cheese.
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar.
1/4 cup minced fresh onions.
2 tablespoons fresh minced, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley.
1/8 teaspoon salt.
1/8 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
Nuts (optional)

Take all the ingredients, minus the nuts if you choose to use them, and put into a large or medium sized mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer until well combined and even textured. Then either form it into a ball and roll in nuts, or put into a small-medium container. This recipe makes about 1.5 lbs. of cheeseball. Spread on crackers and enjoy :) Needs to be refrigerated when not being consumed.

I would have uploaded a picture of how it turns out, but my brother consumed most of it!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


A Matter of Character by Robin Lee Hatcher ~ Review

A Matter of Character (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #3) by Robin Lee Hatcher: Book Cover 
My Review: Yet again, sparks fly and opposites attract in Bethlehem Springs, Idaho.

 Daphne McKinley, a published dime novel authoress and wealthy heiress, fairly shines with spunk and a sometimes overactive imagination, both which make her utterly charming. Joshua Crawford is a newspaper reporter who has always looked up to his grandfather, who was a huge part of his life, growing up. So when he finds that a dime novel author has besmirched the good name of his beloved grandfather, he goes to Bethlehem Springs in hopes of finding a certain D. B. Morgan. As you can imagine some interesting situations occur!

My favorite of the series, I couldn't help but enjoy returning to Bethlehem Springs to revisit old characters and meet new ones.The characters were well drawn out, and the plot was wonderful. Even the side characters proved memorable.  I loved watching the story play out before my eyes.  Engaging and amusing to the end, A Matter of Character is sure to charm and delight. Romantic, yet at times humorous, this was a book that I enjoyed to the last.

As I read the last page I couldn't help but wish that there were books in the series. Overall this book was a delightful read, I enjoyed watching the characters develop, and the messages that they learned along the way. A book that I recommend, to anyone up for a romance that is not too serious, nor to light, but just right :) Thanks!

Final Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Buy it here for $2.99!!!

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review, which I have done my best to present here. Thanks :)


What I'm Reading ~ Weekend

The River Queen

Hey there! I almost forgot that it was Friday today because my dad got the day off, so we didn't do normal stuff :) My brother got the ipod Touch 4th Generation, that he's been waiting for since--well, forever! So as you can imagine he is very pleased.

But onward to the weekend! I only have one pick this week, because I'm kinda busy and I'm reading like, 9 books at once! It's kinda hard to finish one when you're reading many. But that's me for you :P

The River Queen by Gilbert Morris

I have long been a fan of Gilbert Morris books, it actually took me awhile to realize that there were other Christian books out there than just his! LOL, he just has so many! So I'm excited for his latest :)

(Back Blurb):
Julienne Ashby, 24, must change her pampered ways after her father, a prominent businessman in Natchez, Mississippi, loses their fortune and family home to a bad gambling habit in 1850. Like a fish out of water, she aims to refit their one remaining possession, an old riverboat, in hopes of making a profit and restoring the Cuvier name along the mighty Mississippi.
Desperate for help in doing the restoration work, prideful Julienne hires Dallas Bronte, a humiliated captain whose drinking problem stopped his water ways many years ago. Despite initial success, the struggles they will face with other ship owners are almost as challenging as the fiery feelings - of love and hate - that they must sort out for each other. When the riverboat and all aboard meet what looks like certain destruction, God shows Julienne and Dallas only one of those emotions is unsinkable.

Well, that's what I'm reading this weekend. What are you reading? I'd love to hear from you :)


Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh ~ Revell Blog Tour and Review

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh: Book Cover
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

My Review: Remembering Christmas is one of those books that though, simple in it's telling, packs a powerful punch emotionally. Dan Walsh proves yet again that he is a master storyteller, with his latest release of forgiveness and family.

What I love about Mr. Walsh's books is how deep all of his characters are, and there is always more than what first meets the eye. Every character is complex and miles deep, each with their own struggle, and yet Mr. Walsh weaves all the ends in beautifully (yet not painlessly) in such a way that though you might not have seen it coming you couldn't imagine it any other way.

The story is well told, and the pages turn rapidly, though at times it's an inner battle between speeding through the book to find out what happens next, or slowing down and savoring every word.

This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed from cover to cover, and that doesn't happen often. With Christmas fast approaching this is the perfect book to get you in the mood, or to give as a gift. You could even give it to yourself!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to just about anyone, whether it's Christmastime or not, Remembering Christmas is a satisfying read, that will tug at your heartstrings :)

Final Rating: 5 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-8007-1979-1

Buy it here

“Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Thanks to Revell Publishers and Danna Hausler for giving me this review copy free of charge, in return for an honest review.


The Big Book of History ~ 15 foot foldout poster/book ~ review

Big Book Of History: A 15' Fold-Out Time-Line From Creation To Modern Computers by Laura Welch: Book Cover
My Review: Fifteen feet of fun await you and your family, with The Big Book of History!

The Big Book of History is a fifteen foot poster that can be read as a poster or as a book! Beginning with creation and going all the way to present day, it is filled with fun facts and important dates, presented attractively, with colorful pictures and more.

I would happily read this book over and over again! It's just too much to fully appreciate the first time through, and I mean this in a totally complimentary way. I really liked how the dates were given with a Biblical timeline in mind, starting with creation.

The book/poster is so detail and well done yet done in an easy to understand way with children and families in mind. It comes in a clear plastic reusable protective folder, and measures 14 1/8'' by 8 1/2'' when folded up.

Fun and easy to use, I would highly recommend this book/poster to families and individuals, who are looking for a fun learning experience presented attractively, or just to have fun. The details and the facts and the fun "Did You Know's." The attention to being accurate and showing detail is just amazing, I don't think that anyone could not be pleased with this book :)

Final Rating : 5 out of 5

ISBN: 978-0-89051-632-4

I received this book from New Leaf Publishers in returned for my honest opinion, which I have done my best to express here. Thanks :)


A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer ~ Review

A Whisper of Peace by Kim Vogel Sawyer: Book Cover

My Review: Come along with Kim Vogel Sawyer to the beautiful land of Alaska!

Well written, in Ms. Sawyer's typical fashion, the writing instantly draws one inside the story. The Alaskan setting is beautifully done, and the characters are utterly charming though flawed.

My impression of this book, is a bit mixed. I really wanted to love everything, but I personally found certain things that didn't quite work for me. This was just one of those books where the characters who like each other, tended to pop randomly into each others' heads, and there wasn't as much interaction between the Lizzie and Clay as I would have liked.

The Athabascan children Etu and Naibi were so cute! But my favorite character ended up being Vivian, Clay's step-sister, because she was in my mind the most relatable in her vulnerability, and I wished there had been more of her story in the book. Maybe Ms. Sawyer will have to write Vivian her own book :)

Overall, this book was well written and engaging, though at times I found myself wishing things would happen faster. It wasn't my favorite by Kim Vogel Sawyer, but it was pretty good. I liked the story's premise with missionaries going to teach the Athabascan people, and the theme of forgiveness, which were both well done. A great book for Ms. Sawyer's many fans. Thanks :D


Buy it Here

Thanks to Bethany House Publishers from whom I received this book in return for an honest review.


What I'm Reading ~ Weekend

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh: Book Cover

Well howdy there :)  I've got a Teen Bible Quiz meet this weekend which means that I won't be able to read as much as I would like and that I will be studying and hanging out. But I do have one pick :)

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh.

I really enjoyed his book Deepest Waters, so I'm pretty excited to read his latest :) Plus I'm so ready for Christmas!

( Back Blurb): Rick Denton lives his life on his terms. He works hard, plays hard, and answers to no one. So when his mother calls him begging him to come home after his stepfather has an aneurysm, Rick is more than a little reluctant. What was supposed to be just a couple days helping out at the family bookstore turns into weeks of cashing out old ladies and dealing with the homeless guy who keeps hanging around the store. The one bright spot is the lovely and intriguing young woman who works at his side each day.

As Christmas nears, his old life beckons, the hurt from his past loom large, and the decision he makes will determine more than just where he spends Christmas Eve.

So what are you reading? I'd love to hear about it :) Have a great weekend!


To Die For by Sandra Byrd ~ 5.4 Star Review!

To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Sandra Byrd: Book Cover

My Review: I have heard so many beautiful things about this book, I knew that I had to read it. To Die For is in my mind the perfect Historical novel. Rich in detail, and characters, this book was nearly impossible to put down yet at the same time I want to just sit back and enjoy it.

Meg Wyatt is the faithful friend to Anne Boleyn, the 2nd wife of Henry VIII, and the mother of one of England's most memorable monarchs, Queen Elizabeth. To Die For chronicles the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn to power and back down again.

Many books fiction and non-fiction alike both like to paint Anne as evil or as a witch, so I was glad to find a book that portrayed her more realistically. The historical accuracy and believability was spot on for me, it read like a novel, yet I learned things at the same time :)

Meg was a very easy to relate to character that I quickly connected with. I experience what it was like to be in the court of Henry VIII all through the pages of this book. It was an absolute pleasure to read!

One of my favorite Christian heroes has always been William Tyndale, and I was happy that his work was not ignored, in fact, the effect of that his explosive translation of the New Testament had on the Christian world.

Overall this is a book I would highly recommend to lovers of Christian Fiction, and Historical Fiction, or anyone who loves a well woven story. As I read it quickly became a favorite and is probably one of the best books I've read this year. This book is a MUST READ!

Final Rating: 5.4 out of 5

I actually got this book from the local library, just in case you were wondering ;)


Tell Me About Yourself Award!

First and foremost much thanks to Amber S. of Seasons of Humility Blog for honoring me with this award :) Her blog is really awesome, and if I could I'd award her with this award all over again!

Ok so the rules for accepting this award are simple.

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Give the award to 15 other bloggers.

Alrighty so here are 7 things about me:

1. Ok, I'm on Facebook way more than I should be.
2. I'm part of a top secret Bible Quizzing circle of nice Christian teens who encourage each other daily.
3. I like watching British Mini-series' on PBS.
4. I love horses.
5. I like to quilt and crosstitch.
6. I try to eat natural, but really like Jello.
7. And I really like to read, just in case nobody knew that ;)

Ok so now onward to the blogs that are totally deserving and to whom I want to pass this award!

Andrea's Take

Best Reads (2010-2011)

Christ is Write!

Writing for Christ

Erica Vetsch: On the Write Path

Golden Grasses

Lajoie's Thoughts of Joy

Stuff and Nonsense II

Southern Sassy Things

The Way of Impressions

Thoughts on Books

Overcoming Through Time -- With God's Help

Making Homework

Teenage Writer

Reviews by Jane

These are just a few of the awesome blogs I follow :) Thank again, Amber!


What I'm Reading ~ Weekend

The Mirror of N'de: A Novel by L. K. Malone: Book Cover

Sorry, I haven't posted as much as I would have liked this week. And now, onward to the wonderful weekend of reading!

This week I have 3 selections, so let's get started :)

I just picked up The Mirror of N'de the other day and I do admit that it is pretty catchy, something that my little brother would probably enjoy. So far it's pretty cool, with steady pacing and mystery ;)

A Matter of Character (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs Series #3) by Robin Lee Hatcher: Book Cover(Back Blurb): In the mythical city of N'de lives thirteen-year-old Hadlay and her people, the Ramash. Scorned and abused by the unloving and absent Emperor, the Ramash are poor people, placed second to the ruling class of the Oresed. Young but bold, Hadlay rages against the injustice in her city. When she is chosen for the honor of serving the Prince in the Tower, she hopes to find a way to right the wrong . . . but soon discovers that things are worse than she believed. 

Then there's A Matter of Character I can't wait to find out who Daphne ends up with, in the conclusion of Robin Lee Hatcher's delightful series :)

( Back Blurb) : The Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series delivers exactly what readers have been waiting for---smart, confident women who are not afraid to defy convention, live their own dreams, and share their lives if the right man comes along.
In A Matter of Character, book three in the Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series, it's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret.
A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories ... except Daphne.
When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander: Book CoverIf I have time I'm hoping to squeeze in Tamera Alexander's A Lasting Impression. I  picked it up for a few moments today and had a hard time putting it down :) So I'm planning on reading that one soon. I looks and sounds so good!

( Back Blurb): Claire Laurent's greatest aspiration is to paint something that will bring her acclaim. Yet her father insists she work as a copyist. A forger. When she's forced to flee her home, her path collides with attorney Sutton Monroe, who shows her kindness by not turning her in to authorities. But when he later refuses to come to her aid, Claire fears she's sorely misjudged him. Finding herself among the elite of Nashville society, Claire believes her dream of creating a lasting impression in the world of art is within reach--but only if her past remains hidden.
The Federal Army destroyed Sutton's home, confiscated his land, and threatens to destroy his family's honor. His determination to reclaim what belongs to him reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined--as well as the woman he loves.
Set at Nashville's historic Belmont Mansion, a stunning antebellum manor built by Adelicia Acklen, A Lasting Impression is a sweeping love story about a nation mending after war, the redemption of those wounded, and the courage of a man and woman to see themselves--and each other--for who they really are.

Well that's what's on my night stand. What are you reading? I'd love to hear from you :)


His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons ~ Review

His Steadfast Love by Thomas Nelson: Book Cover

My Review: Amanda Belle falls in love with a dashing young soldier, Kent Littlefield. But then the Civil war breaks out and Amanda finds her heart divided between to two men she loves most, her brother Daniel, with the Confederate Army, and Kent with the Union. While she tries to keep her family's home in order Daniel and Kent are fighting each other on the battlefields.

First off, Ms. Parsons is a very talented writer and I loved her style. But it wasn't until 2/3's of the way into the book did I truly become drawn into the story, and the characters. At times I felt that the story moved too fast and I would have liked to slow down a bit, as this book spans the 5 years of the war, it was understandable. I also thought that the romance moved a bit swiftly for me, though their relationship was strengthened through many letters and correspondance.

The characters were a bit hard to get into for the first 2/3's of the book, but I eventually warmed to them. My favorite character was Washington, because he was such a gentle, faithful soul. I think that Ms. Parsons really did an amazing job of pulling off the Belle family owning slaves, because often Christian books shy away from that and I think that those relationships really made the book richer. I also liked the story of Claire and Daniel's romance, it was very sweet indeed :)

Overall this book was a slow starter for me, I was engaged, but not as much as I would have liked to have been. Thanks :)

Final Rating: 3.8 out of 5

ISBN: 978-1-59554-629-6
Buy it here

Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.